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Gravers on a tight budget

Hi, I need some help with some suggestions on gravers. I’m on a very
TIGHT budget but I need to buy some gravers. I’ve gone online to the
different suppliers and looked at all the different shapes,sizes and
numbers and have no idea on which ones to buy. Since I can’t buy
them all at once, which ones, can anyone suggest, would be the best
to buy now, to start building a collection of at a later time. I can
only buy a few at a time and want the most useable ones first. Let
me say in advance to everyone that can help - Thanks!! Debbie

If you would elaborate: what are your intentions for these gravers I
may be able to help.


The most “universal” set would include: #52 round, #1 onglette, #40
flat, and perhaps a square graver. Buy the GRS quick-change handle
(black rubber) and of course, the quick change (QC) gravers. You’ll
have one handle for all your gravers. Also, get a diamond sharpening
stone. You don’t need a diamond PowerHone, just a diamond card. You
can buy them from home improvement stores or from many of the
suppliers. It’s about the size of a credit card and makes short work
of sharpening, then again, shaping and sharpening gravers takes time
to learn.

Hi Debbie,

I have in my inventory Gesswein’s red hs flat gravers of all
different numbers. I would be happy to sell these to you very
reasonably since we no longer use them. Do you know the different
sizes you would like. I could look to see if I had them.


Hi Debbie, If your on a tight budget just buy some 2.5 or 3mm square
tool steel and make your own. Small round gravers can be made from
worn out burrs, cut off the end and sharpen. To save yourself a lot
of frustration get a sharpening system. Sharp gravers cut well, dull
ones make you want to stab your eyes out.

The gravers you buy from suppliers are usually shaped but not

I suggest you do a lot of reading on engraving and related tools.
Proficiency in engraving is measured in years.

Happy cutting, Jim Doherty

I suggest getting gravers in the following order, based on my use
doing general repairs, stone setting, and engraving:

  1. 2mm Flat. For trimming claws, flattening surfaces, general

  2. 2.5mm Square (‘V’ cut). General bead and stitch raiser, line

  3. Knife. your smaller than 90* ‘V’ cut. Will clean out the point
    for a marquee.

  4. 0.6mm Flat. Similar to 1. but will do in tight places.

  5. 0.8mm Round. A better bead raiser in some circumstances.

  6. RH and LH Bull or spitstick. Great for trimming the seats when
    setting irregular stones.



Have a look at this link. You might find some useful


on one of the engraving web sites ( I think) someone had
posted a video on making a round graver out of an old beading tool.
I tried it and it works great and beading tools are very inexpensive.
I would think that you could sharpen them into other shapes as well,
the steel that they are made from is very good. It would certainly
be a cheap way to try. If you need old beading tools, I would be
happy to send you dozens. Tim

Hi Debbie, I am an instructor at TIJT and we use gravers in class
for bright cutting and stone setting. Here are the gravers that we
have our students get:

Flat: #38, 40, 42
Round: #51, #53
Ongelette: # 2 or # 4
Knife: # 2

You will find that with these gravers you will be able to do almost
everything you want.

Dear all;

For the past few days, I have been reading so many of follow-ups to
the inquiry of what kind of graver to buy or use. Not even mentioning
which to style buy or the many kinds/shapes to purchase. I have yet
to read that non of these store-bought gravers are READY TO USE.

Am I right to assume that these gravers are shaped to the
setters/jewellers desire at being bench-ready? My answer is a
definite NO!

Have I also not read about anything of the wooden handles not being
supplied at the request of the bench-worker as well? Also nothing
here is mentioned on that point.

Let me all let you in on a little secret. I spent almost a much time
during my training in figuring out the details in graver shaping.
This is without the errors in burning or softening of the precious
steel of that graver BEFORE it is to be initially used.

The wooden handle must be delicately inserted into the handle at the
PRECISE depth to the users own hand. For anyone reading this, please
be aware the whole scenario in graver shaping and insertion takes
about 1-2 years to fulfill the desired shape and subsequent
modification for future setting usesge.

Many of my 2 dozen gravers are modified at the point of being
needed. To harbour the need of multi-graver shapes and designs is to
promote sheer madness, or insanity…:>)

I find I personally need ony three styles, Onglette #1, Onglette #2,
and finally a Flat graver of a # 40 thickness…nothing else is
warranted. I can show anyone, if wanted, some very fine diamond
setting in using these three basic graver shapes. “It’s not the
number of gravers, it’s what you can do with these three basic
* *If anyone wishes to enquire of these "ready-to-use"
gravers, I can and will prepare a selection of gravers and setting
for the buying “Orchid” group…Gerry!

*"It's not the number of gravers, it's what you can do with these
three basic shapes".* 

Gerry’s rather impassioned posting brings out something that needs to
be said over and over again. Lately there’s a thread from Helen about
electron beam melting (interesting, useful, fun to explore - not
bashing it). Yesterday I said something innocent about a collegue
that turned into a rant from the person about bad CNC work - the
usual “They may be computer wizards but they ain’t no jewelry
designers” Not everybody, just the people in question.

Tools and equipment are necessary to make jewelry. After a point I
think some people (newbies) start looking for the magic bullet. In
this thread that would be, “Which graver will turn me into an
engraver or diamond setter?” This thread never asked that, BTW, but
that is Gerry 's point, still. The CNC problem was that one piece was
finely made, it was just wrongly made - the engineering/design of
certain elements were just plain wrong.

It’s just to say that it’s your brain, and your hands, that do
everything. In the CNC problem, the people would have made the same
mistakes if they made it by hand… Helen’s electron beam is
actually another level of thought and production. Large scale
manufacturing and theory is another thing… But it’s still the
brain that counts…